Podcast Topic: Top 5 Cartoon Characters

Podcast Topic: Top 5 Cartoon Characters

So coming up on the 2nd of February, I’ll be hosting the Geek Fallout Podcast. The Topic for this podcast is Top 5 Cartoon Characters! I just finished putting together my list of favorite toons and also gathered history/information on each toon. 🙂 Now like all pre-podcast posts, I’ll only give you a few of the items on the list.  You’ll have to just listen to the podcast to hear the last two…

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Podcast Topic: Top 5 Cartoon Characters

So coming up on the 2nd of February, I’ll be hosting the Geek Fallout Podcast. The Topic for this podcast is Top 5 Cartoon Characters! I just finished putting together my list of favorite toons and also gathered history/information on each toon. 🙂 Now like all pre-podcast posts, I’ll only give you a few of the items on the list.  You’ll have to just listen to the podcast to hear the last two !mmmmmwwwwahahahahahaha!FdxAPmK

At first I wanted to do just Looney Tunes & Hanna-Barbera only for this podcast. But after thinking about it and a talk with some of my fellow podcasters. I opened it up to every cartoon out there, plus there will less of a chance of us copying each other. So here we go!! This is the list I have put together, enjoy!

05: Marvin the Martian: After Bugs Bunny had begun to outwit Yosemite Sam.. Friz Freleng & director Chuck Jones decided to create the opposite type of character, one who was soft-spoken, but whose actions were incredibly destructive & legitimately dangerous. Marvin the Martian was the result! Marvin made his debut with 1948’s Haredevil Hare. Unlike the other Warner Bros. cartoon villains, Marvin can be actually evil at most points, and not just daft  like the others, he is also funny.

marvin-the-martian1 Marvin-the-Martian
The design for Marvin was based on a conception of the Roman God Mars. “That was the uniform that Mars wore that helmet and skirt. We thought putting it on this ant-like creature might be funny. But since he had no mouth, we had to convey that he was speaking totally through his movements. It demanded a kind of expressive body mechanics.”
Marvin was never named in the original shorts – he was called the Commander of Flying Saucer X-2 in The Hasty Hare in 1952. But only decades later, when the character attracted merchandising, the current name was selected.

04: Foghorn Leghorn:  Foghorn Leghorn was directly inspired by the popular character of Senator Claghorn. ASouthern politician played by Kenny Delmar who was a regular character on the Fred Allen radio show. The rooster adopted many of Claghorn’s catch phrases, such as “That’s a joke, ah say, that’s a joke, son.” Delmar had based the character of Claghorn upon a Texas rancher who was fond of saying this.
A leghorn is a breed of chicken, and foghorn describes the character’s loud, overbearing voice.

tumblr_ml96leMrmO1r34tn8o1_500According to Leonard Maltin the character’s voice was also patterned after a hard-of-hearing West Coast-only radio character from the 1930s, known simply as The Sheriff, on a radio program called Blue Monday Jamboree. The voice has similarities to that of another Mel Blanc voice: Yosemite Sam (a strictly Friz Freleng character).

03: Wile E. Coyote: Chuck Jones based Wile E. Coyote on a Mark Twain book called Roughing It. Which Twain described the coyote as “a long, slim, sick and sorry-looking skeleton” & “a living, breathing allegory of Want. He is always hungry.” Chuck Jones said he created the Coyote-Road Runner cartoons as a parody of traditional “cat and mouse” cartoons like MGM’s Tom and Jerry, which Jones would work on as a director later in his career. Jones modeled the Coyote’s appearance on fellow animator Ken Harris.

coyote-and-rocket wile-e-coyte
The Coyote’s name of Wile E. is a play on the word “wily.” The “E” was said to stand for Ethelbert in one issue of a Looney Tunes comic book. The Coyote’s surname is routinely pronounced with a long “e”, but in one cartoon short, To Hare Is Human, Wile E. is heard pronouncing it with a diphthong ky-OH-tay. Early model sheets for the character prior to his initial appearance (in Fast and Furry-ous) identified him as “Don Coyote”, a play on Don Quixote.

Well I hope you enjoy this little list of cartoon characters as much as I did. I can’t wait till this podcast and hear everyone’s picks for the Top 5. Make you come by and give us a listen at Geek Fallout!

wile-e-coyote1

Out Of The Inkwell

Fleischer-and-Boo

So early this morning my little Hobbits want to watch some cartoons and we have some of the more classic cartoons compilations. So one of the many volumes we have are of the old Max Fleischer cartoons like Betty Boop,  Fritz the Dog and Superman. I’ve always enjoyed his artwork and the methods as well as the ideas he came up with. He was always been a big influence on me growing up as a child. Him, Tex Avery and Chuck Jones are some of the more classic artist & animators that I grew up with.
But I never really fully knew Max Fleischer’s history. Well Max and his brother’s history in the animation world.


Come to find out after doing some research on Fleischer. Max made away to simplify the animation process, by tracing frames from a live action film. Max and his brother Dave are using this system in their first cartoon in 1914. The name for was called Retroscope and it wasn’t until 1915 it became the techniques used Max Fleischer’s Out Of The Inkwell Studios for the first 5 years of the series that started in 1919 starring Koko the Clown, Fitz the Dog. Max produced the majority of the Inkwell films for Bray Studios until 1921. Then his Dave and Lou fletcher along with himself stablished the Fletcher Studios initially named Out Of The Inkwell Films. Fleischer invented the “follow the bouncing ball” technique for his song cartoon series animated sing-along short to begin in 1924. The bouncing ball technique is for video recordings to visually indicate the rhythm of the song helping on audiences to sing along with a live or a prerecorded musical tune.
Into the early sound film era Max Fleischer produced many technical advances in animation films/world. Making most of the Fleischer cartoons and animated features with live or Retroscoped images using jazz performers most notably Louis Armstrong, Don Redman & Cab Calloway. Max Fleischer prominent and positive featuring have African-American performers and this was a bold move for this era. Where most films depicted African descent people in decorating & stereotypical ways.
Sadly 1929 Fleischer studios filing for bankruptcy also during this time Walt Disney gaining massive amounts success for Mickey Mouse. August 1929 the silent Inkwell Imps replaced with Talkartoon series. It was in a year into the series Fritz the Dog was named Bimbo and became the star of the Talkartoon series, starting with Hot Dog in 1930.
Also in August 1930 this poodle human hybrid named Dizzy Dishes made her screen debut as Bimbo’s girlfriend. And quickly became Fleischer biggest hit, she would later be named Betty Boop. In 1931 Fleischer made changes such as taking Betty’s floppy dog like ears and turning them into hooped earrings and  was also she slowly transformed until fully human girl.DizzyDishes20tumblr_mgst9ftSX61s3v748o1_250Fleischer got rights to the comic strip character Popeye the Sailor Man from King Features Syndicate.  Popeye originally started out has a secondary character in 1929 and a newspaper feature Thimble Theater. He made this film debut in 1933 & he was introduced and the Betty Boop short Popeye The Sailor. At one point during his run until 1957, Popeye’s popularity dwarfed Mickey Mouse surpassing Disney’s stronghold on the cartoon world.

preview_superman_protects_lois_with_his_cape superman-mechanical-monsters4loislane_fleischer155hqdefaultMay 1941 paramount took over Fleischer studios and leaving Max to remained charge. But due to a long personal feud with his brother Dave this complicated the situation after realising of Mr. Bug. Dave left for California to take over Columbia’s Scream Gems Animation until 1942. Months after the move Fleischer’s contract with Paramount, the move put Dave in breach of contract seeings how that Columbia was competitor to Paramount. So with this breach along with substantial debt gave the biggest studio Paramount the right to take over the smaller forcing Max out. Paramount put in new management, and makes son in law in charge. Then the studio rename Fleischer Studios to Famous Studios in 1942.
There is so much history with the Fleischer  family/company. It’s rather mind blowing really. Who knew there could be so much drama behind some of the greatest cartoons.